Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

Hello everyone!

This weekend I had the pleasure of spending the day with twelve of my relatives while we went on a train ride through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Now, I am an avid visitor to the park and have even had the honor of aiding in some of the park’s research. However, my family has never gone. I even talked my cousin into camping there and going kayaking.

I was thoroughly impressed with the train ride which wove its way through the park smoothly.

The train, which was from the 1940’s, was in great condition and the railroad system easily adapted to any changes. Due to the high population of visitors that day, the railway added several additional train cars to fit all of the passengers effortlessly.

This was my fist time on the train at the CVNP and I am definitely going back.

My family also really enjoyed the ride and said it was very relaxing. We even got the chance to see the 1000 pound (~453 kg) Bald Eagles nest. This past season two new eaglets were born and have already left the nest.

Definitely a trip to remember!

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Let’s Talk: The Cheating Zany Grandma

This past Labor Day my family was over for a cookout. The day was very nice and everyone was lively with chatter.

After dinner my family usually likes to play some games. Recently, we have trying out various card games. We started out with Rummy and made our way to Golf. My grandma won every single game, but one. We all jokingly accused her of cheating.

We played till everyone went home.

The next day, I was folding the blanket my grandma was using and I was surprised to see a couple of cards fall out.

The jokes of cheating were correct.

My precious grandmother who was winning all evening was cheating!

No, I have not asked her and I will not. However, I told my father (grandma’s son) and all he could do was laugh and yell “that cheater.”

Till next time

~Desibee

 

Plants Can Talk

We are going back to the science track with this post.

Little known fact: Plants can talk! WHAT?!

Okay, obviously I don’t mean can plants talk in the same way humans can. I, for one, have never walked down the street and had a daisy bid me “good day” (at least not sober).

I mean plants can communicate with each other. This is done through the release of chemicals.

When a plant is being attacked by an insect or disease it releases specific chemicals. These chemicals act as a warning to neighboring plants.

A nearby plant then detects the chemical and reacts to protect itself. This can be done in several ways. However, it usually involves the action of a secondary metabolite. There are several classes of these chemicals and each performs a different job.

The neighboring plants defend themselves by releasing chemicals either inside or outside the plant. These chemicals are produced based on the threat. A plant can produce chemicals to kill an insect if ingested or release chemicals to deter the threat from the plant.

These secondary metabolites are key to plant survival and human survival. Many medicines used today are derived from the secondary metabolites of plants. These chemicals are key for the survival of both.

There are many other ways plants can communicate, but that is a whole other post.

I am amazed at the “secret lives of plants.”

In all honesty, thank you plants for producing caffeine (a type of secondary metabolite), I don’t know how I would survive without coffee.

~Desibeeblog

Let’s Talk: The Zany Grandma And Her New Dog

I previously stated that I had many zany grandmother stories to share. So here is one you may enjoy.

My grandmother is very particular when it comes to dogs. I didn’t know how selective she was until I had the esteemed honor of finding a new dog for her to adopt.

This started about two years after the passing of her longtime dog Yankee III (yeah another story there). She was wanting another dog, but was not making any decisive actions. She has only ever bought dogs from breeders and paid top dollar; no she does not put them in shows. I refused to let her do that so I offered help in searching for a dog for her. I searched all over local shelters to find her a dog.

This should not have taken long or have been difficult. It was.

The reason why it was so hard is that she is incredibly picky. She had a list of requirements for me to meet. This was the first list:

  1. A male
  2. A puppy or young dog
  3. Small
  4. Upright ears (An absolute must)
  5. Short hair, but not too short
  6. Not too loud
  7. Must be okay with children
  8. Cannot shed too much
  9. Light coloration
  10. Solid coloration
  11. Open face (Yeah, what??)
  12. Cairn Terrier preferred
  13. House trained (from a puppy…)
  14. Straight tail
  15. No distinct smell
  16. Okay with being left alone for a short while
  17. No health conditions
  18. Terrier group
  19. No biting

Okay the list was long and made me angry. I can look at any dog and say you absolutely perfect. (We as humans don’t deserve dogs; they are too good for us)

After a few months of looking I told her I could not find a puppy Cairn Terrier that wasn’t from a breeder. She thought of just contacting a breeder, but I convinced her to be lenient with her list. She would now “allow” a non terrier and simply a young dog.

I searched for over a year to fit her specificities. Then she says she wants a female dog. Yeah now more searching.

I finally found her a perfect dog. I kept it as close to her list as possible. This dog came from a rescue called Marilyn’s Voice which focused on rescuing puppy mill dogs. The dog I found was a tiny, six pound, Toy Poodle and Yorkshire Terrier mix.  I wanted to find her a small dog that would remain easy to lift as the dog ages. (Her last dog, a West Highland Terrier, was too heavy for her to lift when the dog got too old to get up stairs to go outside).

She went to meet the dog and fell in love instantly. This dog had character and was so well behaved.

This dog ended up being about 5 years old and had some missing teeth. She also has chronic ear infections and is not used to people handing her food. Even with these quirks my grandmother fell in love with her (I knew she would).

About a year has passed since she got the dog and they are inseparable. The dog had many difficulties at first, but was attached to my grandma instantly. She ended up being partially house trained, afraid of stairs, and barks when my grandma was not in sight. My grandma considered sending her back to the shelter (which upset me because I tried to explain puppy mill dogs take a while to settle into their homes). After about a year the adorable little poodle is now better with stairs, pretty well trained, and content at home and with other family.

My grandma is now in love with the little fuzz ball and says she could not imagine her life without the dog. She babies the dog and spoils her beyond belief.

Well that is my grandma story for today. Let me know if you would like to hear more of these stories.

Until next time.

Desibee